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A more affordable, purely handheld version of the Nintendo Switch game console, with integrated Joy-Con controllers and a slightly smaller screen. Released September 20, 2019.

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Switch Lite will turn on but power button is unresponsive

Hello!

I’ve tried to research my issue but have had no success.

I bought a switch lite listed as “does not turn on”. Opened it up and discovered corrosion damage. After a gentle scrub of all the components it turns on! However, the power button will not work. The volume buttons work, but not the power.

  • I bought a new ribbon cable - same issue, volume works, not power
  • I swapped the motherboard with a working switch with working power button, same new ribbon cable - same issue
  • Swapped physical power button and the membrane with a known “working” lite - same issue

The only thing I can think of is a warped shell that’s not allowing proper contact with the ribbon cable. What are your thoughts? I’m stumped. Especially with the motherboard swap.

Thank you in advance

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have you tried it just connected to the board and not in the housing ?

@tech_ni I haven't, which is a great idea. I'll try it out when I get home this evening. Thank you!

@tech_ni I tried it without the housing but with the membrane/buttons and it still doesn’t work. Volume buttons work fine.

@racheldanger27 maybe a damaged trace near the connector or a failed resistor due to the liquid damage

@tech_ni that would make sense for the corroded motherboard, but I'm stumped on the second motherboard. The second one had never been opened and showed no signs of water damage.

Also, I am very amateur at switch lite repair. Is this something that I could potentially fix once I get better at soldering? Replacing a resistor or connector?

Thank you so much for your help, daniel. I appreciate it.

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Alright, y'all. The verdict is in. Apologies in advance for how long it took me (life and shipping delays got in the way)

It was in fact the long ribbon cable that connects the two boards together. (Thank you @devnol)

The unsuccessful troubleshooting I did prior was:

  • Replaced the smaller board for the righthand buttons
  • Replaced the power/volume ribbon

but ultimately was the long ribbon.

Thank all of you for all your feedback. I appreciate it.

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There are 2 things that may be the issue.

First things first. When it comes to buttons on ribbon cables on handheld systems, most ribbon cables use a common ground which would eliminate an unconnected ground. Since the power button does not work but the volume buttons work that eliminates a bad ground.

My guess would be that the pin on the connector on the main board may be slightly corroded or the original ribbon cable is slightly torn. I would double check under a magnifying glass or a microscope (if you have one) to see if you can see any broken traces or tears in the ribbon cable as that would cause your issue.

The second possibility (less likely) is that the original cable is serially paired to the handheld and if that is the case no other cables would work with it.

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I've had a similar issue with a Switch Lite I repaired, where it had a very similar issue with buttons from the right side not working, the ribbon cable that connected the button board to the mainboard was in fact torn.

Thank you, Chris. When I get the chance I'll take a closer look later this evening. I installed a brand new power/volume ribbon and that didn't solve the issue. Another user suggested I order a replacement small PCB which I'm waiting for in the mail. I do not have the hot air station nor the skill yet to replace the connector itself if corrosion on the original connector is the issue.

My assumption is that the ribbon is not serially paired to the handheld, but stranger things have happened. I still have the original to look at.

I also haven't looked closely at the ribbon cable that connects the PCBs together, but it did look a little sad the last time I opened the case. But wouldn't that affect far more than just the power button if that ribbon was damaged?

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